Workarounds for Watching Blocked Videos

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Question: How can I show my students a video on YouTube when our district blocks it?

The IT Guy says:
YouTube is an amazing repository of videos, most of which are pretty meaningless, some of which are of very dubious nature, and a select number of which are valuable and interesting. However, because of the dubious examples, many districts block access to YouTube.

In a recent blog posting, Wesley Fryer (former IT Guy columnist and voluminous education blogger) discussed two workarounds for this problem. Both assume that you can access YouTube from home or some other unblocked location.

The first is the YouTube Downloader. If you know the address for the video you want to view, you enter it into a search box on this web page. Video Downloader will then give you a link that will download the video to your computer as a Flash video file. (I’ve had problems getting this to work well with any browser other than Internet Explorer, however.)

The second is an online service called ZamZar. You enter the address of the video that you want to convert, choose the format to convert it to (.mpg is a good plain, vanilla option), and put in your Email address. ZamZar will download the video, convert it, and Email you a link to download the video.

The advantages of ZamZar are that you should be able to download the video at your work computer (instead of transferring the file from your home computer somehow), and you can choose which file format you want the file converted to, rather than only being a Flash video file.

As always, you can find links to the resources mentioned at IT Guy (del.icio.us/cmcquinn/it_guy)!

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